52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Marlowe: from Hero and Leander


At Sestos Hero dwelt; Hero the fair,

Whom young Apollo courted for her hair,

And offered as a dower his burning throne,

Where she should sit for men to gaze upon.

The outside of her garments were of lawn,

The lining purple silk, with gilt stars drawn;

Her wide sleeves green, and bordered with a grove

Where Venus in her naked glory strove

To please the careless and disdainful eyes

Of proud Adonis, that before her lies;

Her kirtle blue, whereon was many a stain,

Made with the blood of wretched lovers slain.

Upon her head she ware a myrtle wreath,

From whence her veil reached to the ground beneath.

Her veil was artificial flowers and leaves,

Whose workmanship both man and beast deceives;

Many would praise the sweet smell as she passed,

When ‘twas the odor which her breath forth cast;

And there for honey, bees have sought in vain,

And, beat from hence, have lighted there again.

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